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Revealing What Ever Happened To Hell?
"... Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding." (Job:28:28)
So What Ever happened To Hell?
I remember as a child hearing a sermon on hell. It so frightened me that I wanted to become a Christian just so I could escape going to that awful place. That was over 45 years ago.
Today, things have changed. A sermon on hell is about as rare as a wild buffalo whistling "Dixie." We hear about love, discipleship, spiritual gifts, humanistic social ministries and moral development, but little about God's wrath. One reason for this is that in our reaction to the excesses and distortions of the past, we have swung over to the other extreme, where we feel comfortable with only positive themes like love and spiritual fulfillment. The "feel good" or "good life" brand of apostate or Liberal Christianity has little room for God's holiness, the wretchedness of sin, everlasting judgement, sorrow and repentance.
Another reason may be our desire to make converts. We dangle the "goodies" of the Christian life in front of unbelievers, but we hesitate to tell them about a real literal hell.
Then there is the contemporary emphasis on New Age determinism: you really cannot help being the way you are. B. E Skinner did much to relieve us of guilt. He taught us that we are only social animals acting in conditioned ways. There is no such thing as personal sin, accountability, judgement or hell.
One of the strongest influences leading us away from a serious view of a literal hell is the New Age philosophy of humanism, propagated by the worldly and apostate theology known as, "The Social Gospel" which says that man is basically good. There is no real literal hell according to the Social Gospel. All men can find their way into heaven by performing Good Deeds, in the name of world-wide Social development and humanitarianism.
At his best, man would never let a fellow human being suffer. And since God is better than man, He would certainly not allow any of His creatures to suffer eternally in hell.
This line of reasoning presented itself in a TV news special on being "born again." Bill Moyers zeroed in on the question of hell with a Christian teenager. "I know people who are moral and good and who do not necessarily claim to be born again," Moyers said. "How could a good God allow them to go to hell?"
The young man shrugged his shoulders and answered, "That's what the Bible says."
The Basic Issue
Actually, that teen's response is the basic issue when it comes to answering the question of who is going to hell. The Christians' authority on the matter is the Bible, God's inspired Word. The New Age philosophy of Easy believism, determinism, humanism, apostate Social Gospel theology - these are all peripheral. At the core is a breakdown of biblical authority. The less authority we ascribe to the Scriptures, the less seriously we take its teachings on the reality of a literal hell.
We can play our games with the Bible, side-stepping and distorting passages that conflict with contemporary humanistic thought and the apostate theology of "The Social Gospel" We can try to tunnel under, go over or steer around references that offend our human sensitivities. We can ignore, pretend and even cast aside what we read in Scripture.
But does that change anything? The Word of God remains forever (Matthew 24:35). The Church's calling is not to judge the Word or to pick out only what they want to hear and discard the rest, it is to believe it in its entirety and to declare it to a crooked and perverse generation. The True and Faithful Bible Believing Christians need to convey the entire Word, even the parts about the reality of a literal hell.
Jesus knows that hell exists. Get a Bible and look up the references. (See, for example, Matthew 5:21-22, 29-30; 16:18; 18:8-9; 23:15, 33; Luke 12:4-5; 16:23.) He did not mince words. Leon Morris, a resource scholar for the Christianity Today Institute, in an article in Christianity Today said that: "Christ talked more about hell than about Heaven." In Conclusion; "You will never hear apostate liberal ministers of the false gospel preach a message on the reality of Hell."
What Is Hell Like?
Hell was prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41). It was never intended for man. And God will never send a person there. We send ourselves. It is a choice we make when we refuse to accept God's true word, from His Holy book The Bible and instead live a life of rebellion and disobedience.
Hell is horrible. The way we throw the word around today dilutes our understanding of the actual conditions there. Even the analogies of Scripture (lake of fire, bottomless pit, gnashing teeth and so forth) do injustice to the reality of being totally cut off from all that is good and true.
Hell is eternal (Matthew 25:46). The teaching of a temporary punishment is a perversion of the truth. Jesus clearly declared that hell is final and forever.
What happens when Christians take seriously the biblical teaching of hell? A soberness fills our thinking and praying. A sense of urgency grips us. We proclaim salvation earnestly, fervently.
Recognizing the holy and just nature of God, we show greater concern for righteous living. We flee from evil, rebellion and disobedience and from all that is impure. We desire to be filled with the True Holy Spirit rather then the deceptions of the false unholy Spirit of antichrist which leads us away from the truth and realities of the True God.
And most important, we gain a clearer understanding of the love of God, It is only as we see the awfulness of sin-our rebellion and disobedience and how much God hates it that we fall more deeply in love with the pure Son of God, who took upon Himself the sins of the whole world so that people might be saved from guilt and delivered from the just wrath of a Holy God.
God's love is hollow without hell. Let's bring hell out of the closet.
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
There are many ideas about what happens when we die. Some say we are all annihilated, some say that we all go to heaven. Others believe in a place called "purgatory" where sinful souls are prepared for heaven. But nothing in the Bible supports any of these ideas.
Instead, we read this: "man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgement." Only Those True and Faithful Bible Believers who are in a right relationship with God will then be welcomed into heaven, to spend eternity in his glorious presence. All liberals, apostates and unbelievers will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power. The Bible's most common word for this is 'hell'.
Here are four important truths about it:
Hell is factual. It is not something 'invented by the church'. The Bible says more about hell than it does about heaven and leaves no doubt about its reality. It speaks of people being condemned to hell and thrown into hell.
Hell is fearful. It is described in the Bible as a place of torment; a fiery furnace; a place of everlasting burning and unquenchable fire. It is a place of suffering, with weeping and gnashing of teeth and in which there is no rest day or night. These are terrible words, but they are true. Those in hell are cut off from all good, cursed by God and banished from even the smallest help or comfort that his presence brings.
Hell is final. All the roads to hell are one way streets. There is no exit. Between hell and heaven a great chasm has been fixed. The horror, loneliness and agony of hell are not in order to purify but to punish - forever!
Hell is fair. The Bible tells us that God will judge the world with justice, and he is perfectly just in sending all apostates and unbelieving sinners to hell. After all, he is giving them what they have chosen. They reject the truth of God here; he rejects them there. They choose to live lives of rebellion, disobedience and unbelief; he confirms their choice - forever. God can hardly be accused of injustice or unfairness!
In the light of these terrible truths, you need to think very carefully about a question once put to a group of people in the New Testament: "How will you escape being condemned to hell?" (Mt:23:33)
The late Bishop J.C. Ryle, said: "If you would promote faith, defeat the devil and save souls, preach Hell!"
"The conscience of man cries out of Hell. Go to the bedside of some dying child of the world and fear not to talk to him of God's judgement upon sin and wrath upon the sinner. Preach to him of a Saviour who went into the yawning jaws of Hell that forgiveness might be purchased at great price - His own shed blood - and offer him mercy but only by faith in that blood; and watch his restless anxiety about the future turn to calmness, and marvel as he departs in peace."
"The interests of holiness and morality cry out of Hell. Tell men it matters how they conduct themselves, that there is an eternal difference between Abraham and the Sodomites, between Paul and Nero, between the drunkard who dies unrepentant and a Baxter, a Wilberforce, or a McCheyne. Preach Hell as the final end of men who will not have the truth of the Christian Saviour, in whom they may 'live soberly, righteously, and godly.'
"The Bible speaks of Hell from beginning to end. Hundreds of texts in God's Word remind us of the wages of sin, the end of the flesh and the reward of ungodliness, apostasy, rebellion, disobedience and unbelief.. Jesus cried that the gate to Hell is wide, the road is broad and well travelled. When you stand before the people, preach that!"
Most seminaries and theological colleges either play down the Bible teaching on Hell or do away with it altogether. This has resulted in the subject hardly ever being mentioned from our modern-day liberal - apostate pulpits. When was the last time you heard such a message in your church?
God Himself reveals His final definitive word on the subject:
"And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. : And of death and hell were (they) cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." (Rev 20:10-15)
You must pray this prayer to God and ask Him to save you from the ever burning fires of Hell.
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Let Us Pray Together--
Pray out loud from your heart to Jesus Christ:
PRAY: "God be merciful to me a sinner. Receive me now for Christ's sake. Cleanse me from my sin by your precious blood, shed on the cross for me; lead me to be Baptized and fill me with your Holy Spirit. Teach me to pray each day; to read Your will for my life from your word, the Bible; and help me to worship and serve You in the fellowship of your church. I thank you Lord Jesus Christ. AMEN!
If you have said this prayer, and you have sincerely meant what you have prayed, AND ARE NOW LIVING IN OBEDIENCE TO THE TRUE WORD OF GOD, you can be certain that your sins have now been forgiven and by being baptized, you will receive the gift of The Holy Spirit and that your name has now been written in God's book of life. You will be saved from the ever burning fires of Hell.